Ephesians 4:11-16 (NKJV)
|And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,|
|12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,|
|13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;|
|14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,|
|15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—|
|16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.|
This topic connects to the previous topic on The Church. Again we see The Church is the body of Christ and Christ is the head. We can also see that every
message and word spoken by the pastor, evangelist, prophet or apostle is important for equipping us to do the work of the Lord.
God has commissioned us to go out and preach the gospel so that people believe and are baptized. And there will be signs that follow like casting out demons and speaking in new tongues. God's protection will be around us. If any harm comes (like snakes), they won't be able to hurt us ( Acts 28:5 Paul shook the poisonous snake off into the fire and people were amazed) but this is not an invitation to test God by taking up dangerous things.
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NKJV)
v22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. v23 Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker of it with you.
We can see Paul's total focus was to win the lost to Christ. He even tried to find common ground in order to share the gospel.
In Ephesians 4:11-16 the Lord explain to us that different giftings have been given out in the church.
1. Apostles: (greek word apostolos - strongs 652
= ambassador of the gospel, one who is sent forth by
the Lord. Usually leaving home to go to another place.
2. Prophet: (greek word prophetes - strongs 4396)
= one speaking forth a divine message from God
They need to be in continuous communication with God to
get the message from God. In the church those who spend
time with the Lord will have a word from God even though
they may not be prophets.
3. Evangalists: (greek word euaggelistes - strongs 2099)
= heralds of salvation who are not apostles. Basically all
of us are evangalists as we take the message of salvation into our families, workplaces and anywhere else we go.
4. Pastors: (greek word poiman - strongs 4166)
= A shepherd who tends and guides the Lord's flock.
5. Teacher: One who explains or brings God's truth.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul gives Timothy a warning about the last days: (NKJV)
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Difficult times will come in the last days. There will be a fake godliness and behind the fake godliness will be lots of ungodliness that will grieve God. These people will miss out on the power that could bring them to true godliness. Satan is doing all he can to destroy and tear down the Church.